January 2021

Virtual Tutoring available!

We will be using Zoom – click on this link to join us during our operating hours.

Contact us by email:

Please specify the area(s) you need help with, as well as the times you are available.

Hours for January, 2021:

Drop-in hours on weekdays from 10 AM-12 PM and 2 PM-4 PM

Welcome to the Parkland Literacy Center

The mission of the PLC is to serve the greater Parkland community through literacy training and academic support. We currently provide tutoring to all students in Franklin Pierce and Bethel School Districts. We offer support for writing in any course or subject. We offer language tutoring for students learning Spanish or preparing for the STAMP test (which helps student sin high school earn language credits for college). Support for English Language Learners from any background is also available. In the future, we hope to expand our offerings with adult literacy programming and workshops on subjects ranging from resume and cover letter development to financial literacy to creative writing.

The PLC is an encouraging and safe virtual space. We want to challenge common myths that some students are naturally better readers or writers. The truth is that every student has a wealth of experience to share and any student can be an excellent reader, thinker, writer, or speaker. What does it take to improve? It takes support! And we’re here to offer it. We help students learn by building confidence, supporting skill development, and demystifying the learning process.

The Parkland Literacy Center supports students from our community (currently Franklin Pierce and Bethel School Districts) by providing them assistance with their studies. The PLC is specifically committed to helping students succeed in several contexts: 1) AVID and AP coursework and exams, 2) the World Language Credit for Proficiency Assessment (STAMP test), 3) effective writing in any course, as well as SAT and college prep. Our tutors are all volunteers who work closely with PLC staff to create a welcoming and supportive space for students from any background.

If you have any questions about working in the PLC, please contact the staff by emailing literacy@plu.edu.

Do I need to complete a background check?

All PLC tutors (in fact, anyone supporting Franklin Pierce Schools) must complete the Franklin Pierce Volunteer form. This will take 15 to 20 minutes. You can find the link here (or paste in this url https://franklinpiercevolunteers.hrmplus.net/).

How do I make or change my volunteer schedule?

Contact the PLC staff using the literacy@plu.edu email address or speak directly with one of the Directors or Assistant Directors.

Who is eligible for tutoring services?

Any students in Franklin Pierce and Bethel School Districts.

How do I sign up for tutoring?

Email literacy@plu.edu if you’d like a specific appointment time, or simply drop in to our Zoom hours.

How do I contact the Parkland Literacy Center?

Any questions or concerns can be sent to literacy@plu.edu

Oliva Cano-DominguezAssistant Director Oliva Cano-Dominguez

Oliva is a junior at Pacific Lutheran University and is in the elementary education program with a Hispanic studies minor. Previously, Oliva was an AVID tutor and an interpreter in an ECEAP classroom. She has also started a school club with her fellow peers that has a focus on youth development. Oliva is very thankful for all the opportunities that this year has presented her and is quite eager to establish an environment at the PLC where the students feel welcomed and inspired to learn. When she’s not spending time as an active student and volunteer, she enjoys new experiences, being involved within her church community, and spending time with friends and family.


Sharlene Rojas-Apodaca

Assistant Director Sharlene Rojas-Apodaca

Sharlene is a junior studying Philosophy and Hispanic Studies. In addition to being an assistant director, she is also an AVID tutor at Keithley Middle School and Washington High school. As a first generation and Latina student, Sharlene hopes to help her community. Fluent in Spanish and English, Sharlene hopes to help other students in developing their Spanish language skills in reading and writing.

In her free time, Sharlene enjoys reading and walking her dog named Jake from State Farm.


Assistant Director Kaila Harris

Kaila is a sophomore in the music education program here at PLU. Kaila plays the French horn now, but played the flute for many years! Growing up, Kaila loved helping her classmates with their math homework and loves to help people learn. Kaila is very thankful and eager for the opportunity to work with her community and help other students grow. Outside of tutoring, you’ll usually find Kaila in a practice room or playing video games.


Assistant Director Sarah Saavedra

Sarah is currently a junior with a major in Social Work, with minors in Peace Corp prep and Psychology. Prior to becoming an assistant director for the PLC, Sarah was a Big Buddy for the CCES and is currently an RA in PLU dorms. She is also a first-generation college student, with hopes of giving back to her community and helping students like her get support and realize they are not alone. Sarah is also fluent in Spanish, in addition to English. In her free time, Sarah enjoys painting and spending time with friends and family.

Spring 2020 Creative Writing Workshop series

Workshops – Tuesdays – 6:30-9 PM – Parkland Literacy Center

Supernatural Horror Story Writing – March 17

Learn about the first true horror genre, where mundane fears take onmonstrous and even unspeakable forms, with discussion ranging from classic horror authors like H.P. Lovecraft to modern masters of the craft such as Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves). Over the course of the class we will explore the unique characteristics and techniques of supernatural horror literature, start your vown horror story with an in-class writing exercise, and discuss outlets toward publication.

Science Fiction Story Writing – March 31

Find out how to write about the future through the lens of the present, and how any modern piece of technology, from Apple Airpods to the Roomba, can become a sign of what kind of future awaits us. We will discuss classic science fiction stories, such as those by Isaac Asimov and Harlan Ellison, and explore how their writing seeks to speculate about our future through fantastical developments in technology. We will also begin your own piece of science fiction with in-class writing, and discuss outlets towards publication.

Ghost Story Writing – April 14

Worries of the past are a tenacious threat to our peace of mind, and often seem to haunt us at our most vulnerable. In this class we will explore the classic ghost story, with a discussion on the techniques of authors such as Ambrose Bierce and Edgar Allan Poe, and discover how their ghosts are designed not to simply scare, but to discuss humanity’s obsession with the past. There will also be an in-class exercise to start your own ghost story, and a discussion on outlets for publication.

Dystopian Story Writing – April 28

The world will never truly end, only change. Explore how authors have depicted worlds that have experienced the fall of civilization, society, and even humanity itself in this class on writing Dystopian stories. We will discuss the techniques employed in both classic Dystopian novels like Aldous Huxley’s haunting “Brave New World,” and modern stories such as Jeff VanderMeer’s mushroom-infested world of “Finch.” We will also enage in an in-class writing excerise to create your own Dystopian story, along with a discussion on outlets for publication.

Instructor Nick Ralston has over a decade of experience in fiction writing, ranging from experimental science fiction to gothic horror. He is currently earning his MFA in Creative Writing at the Rainier Writing Workshop.

Workshop Series are free and open to writers at all levels.

For more information, contact Jason Skipper (Director of the PLC Workshop Series and Associate Professor of English at PLU) at jason.skipper@plu.edu or Scott Rogers (Co-Director of the Parkland Literacy Center, Assistant Professor of English at PLU) at rogerssm@plu.edu.

Parkland Literacy Center Staff

Bridget Yaden

Co-Director Bridget Yaden

Professor of Hispanic Studies


Scott Rogers

Co-Director  Scott Rogers

Assistant Professor of English


Assistant Director Kaila Harris


Oliva Cano-Dominguez

Assistant Director Oliva Cano-Dominguez


Assistant Director Sarah Saavedra


Sharlene Rojas-Apodaca

Assistant Director Sharlene Rojas-Apodaca